Digitalist Network // November 20 2017
It’s time to hear from the capital of northern Scandinavia Oulu!
In the Greetings from – series we introduce the Digitalist studios around the world. This time time for the Oulu studio in northern Finland.
Tuomo Könönen, Senior Project Manager and Site Manager at Digitalist Group Plc, who works in the Oulu studio tells about the location of the studio “Our studio is located in the capital of northern Scandinavia, Oulu, on the coast of northern Finland, approx. 600 kilometres north of Helsinki and 130 kilometres from border town Haparanda/Tornio shared with Sweden. Oulu is a northern technology hub, known for its competences in telecommunications and wireless technologies. It has around 200 000 inhabitants and is topographically as flat as a pancake!”
Tuomo tells that the best part of the location is the fact that there are a lot of tech companies in a small area, commuting is quite fluent compared to bigger cities, and there are good opportunities for winter sports due to northern climate. He also adds that people in Oulu tend to bicycle a lot and they have a very good road network for that. Usually the best conversations happen in the Oulu studio’s meeting room over a cup of coffee or the Monday morning breakfast. The room is not reserved for the most of the time, so it’s a good place to pop in and have chat. The Thank God it’s Monday -breakfasts happen every Monday morning.
The Oulu studio has moved a couple of times throughout the years and now the studio is located on the top floor of a building called ‘Smarthouse’, as it was built, and still serves as home, for many high-tech companies and startups. At the moment the Oulu studio is looking for a new office space in a more central location in the city.
The Oulu studio has 7 employees and Tuomo says that they are all oriented in mobile software technologies such as Objective-C, Swift, react-native, Android Java and Kotlin. He adds that ”Most of us have a long history of working together and we’ve had a chance to also recruit back some awesome people that were previously working with us but have spent some time elsewhere. At the moment everyone working at the Oulu studio is from Finland, but I hope to see a change in that. Earlier on, we also had employees from China, Kamerun, Columbia, Brazil and Russia”.
The longest standing member of the Oulu studio is Mr Petri Anttinen, Software Developer, who started in June 2003. Oulu is going to celebrate their 40th birthday soon in the sense that currently the average age of the Oulu studio employees is 39,875 years. The closest thing the Oulu studio has to a mascot is a Color Line M/S Fantasy ship built out of lego bricks, located next to Tuomo’s desk.
Tuomo describes the Oulu studio employees as “amazing people, and I’m really proud of their ability to adopt new technologies.”
Header photo: Members of Digitalist Oulu (from left to right) Jussi Laitinen, Petri Anttinen, Tommi Runtti, Juha Timonen